The Big Picture

Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
on entertainment and media

« Previous Post | The Big Picture Home | Next Post »

Are you a 'moron' if you go see 'Watchmen'?

March 5, 2009 |  5:31 pm

In the seemingly endless parade of crazed right-wing culture critics always eager to lambaste liberal Hollywood and kill a mosquito with an AK-47 (yes, we're thinking Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly and Rush "I'm Rooting for Obama to Fail" Limbaugh), no one quite matches the inspired lunacy of Debbie Schlussel.

I confess to never having heard of her until someone showed me a blog post where she erupted in a mad fury after seeing "Defiance," Ed Zwick's drama about tough Russian Jews in World War II. Why?  Well, because Zwick refused to condemn Hamas and he's part of lefty Hollywood, which never makes any movies celebrating Israel's 60-year fight for survival against the bloodthirsty Arabs who want to wipe Israel off the map.

WatchmenposterLet's just say that Schlussel makes the saber-toothed Coulter look like Miley Cyrus. So you can only imagine what happened when those madcap publicists promoting "Watchmen" at Warners (who forced the woebegone David Poland to whine for weeks about not being invited to an early screening) happily allowed Schlussel into a screening so she could review the film.

Taking time out from attacking Oprah Winfrey for "frequently using her show to praise and whitewash Islam," complaining about the government providing tax dollars for special "digital switch-over training" to Muslims and deriding "The Bachelor" for giving a platform to "the skanks and bimbos who voluntarily make out on TV for base American voyeurs with nothing better to do," Schlussel has now trained her sights on the millions of poor slobs who might want to see "Watchmen."

In her current post, she got right to the point: "If you take your kids to see 'Watchmen,' you're a moron. If you see it yourself, you're also probably a moron and a vapid, indecent human being." She goes on to say that "I haven't seen a more violent, depraved movie in years. This movie makes the graphic bloodshed of the recently released 'Friday the 13th' look like 'Cinderella.' ... There were so many disgusting, morbid, grisly scenes and acts of killing, I had to start writing them down. And that's in addition to the rape scene between superheroes (complete with the violent beating of a female superhero) and an explicit sex scene between two other superheroes. Oh, and don't forget another superhero's swinging computer-generated penis frequently in your face."

Schlussel is also offended by what she calls the "slutty" behavior of various superheros, as well as by a "lesbian make-out scene," but what really sets her off is the idea that the big Hollywood studios behind "Watchmen" are marketing the bloody R-rated film to children -- or as she puts it in her classically overheated way: "... they are pimping the movie to all niches, especially your young kids." It's a pretty shocking charge, since the movie is clearly unsuitable for young children, which is why it's rated R in the first place.

So where is Schlussel's evidence that Warners is selling "Watchmen" to kids, as she charges? Ahem, well, actually, she has no evidence, not unless you count the fact that she saw a woman with a 10-year-old line up to get a free pass to the screening she attended. If she has any better evidence than that, she's saving it up for another diatribe. When I asked my 10-year-old if he'd seen any "Watchmen" ads on his favorite TV shows, he said no, adding, "Come on, Dad, that movie looks way too scary for kids." I think he got the message. Too bad Schlussel is too obsessed with whupping Hollywood with her whupping stick to realize that whatever you think of "Watchmen" (and Lord knows it's already earned its share of pans -- my favorite, from the New Yorker's Anthony Lane, is here), no sane parent has been hypnotized into believing it's a movie for kids.